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Satisfactory Academic Progress

FINANCIAL AID STANDARDS OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS

Effective for classes beginning Fall, 2015

 

FINANCIAL AID STANDARDS OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS [pdf]

Maintaining Eligibility for Financial Aid

The following Standards of Academics Progress (SAP) are adopted for the purpose of determining continuing student eligibility that are receiving or applying for financial aid. Academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each term to determine that the student is making satisfactory progress. This review will include all periods of the student’s enrollment, even those for which the student did not receive financial aid. Students are expected to be continually aware of their grades. http://www.calculator.net/gpa-calculator.html.  

Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress

TSTC evaluates all parts of the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards at the end of each term of enrollment.

Students who receive financial aid must be enrolled in an eligible program and are required to maintain the following standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP). These measurements shall be used to determine eligibility for all federal Title IV aid, state and institutional aid, and for other financial assistance unless the terms of a particular grant or funding source require additional. Some aid programs require higher standards, such as higher grade point averages (GPA) or specific enrollment statuses. Students receiving financial aid must have a declared major in a degree or eligible certificate program. Students are expected to be continually aware of their progress toward their completion. A student who fails to meet the standard of progress (SAP) will be notified by email at the email address on the student record; however, failure to receive notification will not change the SAP status.

Qualitative Progress Measure: Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

To continue receiving financial aid, you are expected to successfully complete your classes with passing grades. You must have at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA (based on all terms of enrollment) and at least a 2.00 term GPA during each period of enrollment. All courses that a student has taken, including transfer credits accepted towards their certificate or degree at TSTC, college level courses and developmental courses will be evaluated.

Quantitative Progress Measure #1: The Pace of Progression or Completion Rate each Semester

When you enroll in classes and receive financial aid to pay for those classes, you are expected to successfully complete those classes. Effective July 1, 2011, you must complete at least 67% of the credit hours in which you enrolled during each term. You must also achieve a minimum cumulative completion rate of 67% of all courses attempted during your enrollment. Only passing grades count as successful completions. Incomplete, in progress, failing grades, and drop/withdrawals are not considered completed courses, but are considered attempted courses, and will be calculated in the 67% completion requirement. All courses, including remedial courses, are included in the calculation.

Quantitative Progress Measure #2: Maximum Time to Complete a Degree / Program

To ensure that you complete your program in a reasonable amount of time, a limit set by 34 CFR 668.34 has been placed on the number of hours that you can attempt. The limit is 150% of the minimum number of hours required to complete your program. For example, if your degree program requires 60 credit hours for completion, you must complete your degree or certificate program within a maximum of 90 attempted credit hours. Once you reach the 150 % limit or the Financial Aid Office determines that you cannot complete your program within the 150% limit, you will no longer be able to receive financial aid. Several variables are considered when calculating the 150% limit and the satisfactory progression rules. These variables include, but are not limited to:

  • All attempted credit hours are counted even if you were not receiving aid to pay for them. Attempted hours are the hours in which you are enrolled, as of the census date, in every term..
  • Any transfer hours that are accepted from other colleges and applied toward the completion of your program are counted in the maximum time frame. If you have previously attended any college, you must submit official transcripts from all previous colleges prior to any financial aid being released.
  • If you repeat a course, both attempts will be counted in the maximum credit hours and progression calculation, even if you did not receive aid for both attempts. Financial aid will only pay for 2 attempts in a college level course. Separate rules apply for developmental courses.
  • If you withdraw from a course(s) after the census date for that course, it is still counted as an attempted course and is included in the SAP calculation.
  • All periods of enrollment and attempted credits will be evaluated, as they apply to the current program of study, whether or not financial aid was awarded during prior enrollment periods.

When you receive financial aid to help pay for a program of study, you are expected to complete that program within the specified time frame for that program. You should not enroll in classes that are not required for your chosen program of study. Classes not required for your degree plan are not eligible for financial aid. Additionally, audit courses, continuing education courses, previously passed courses and courses for which you enroll after the census date are also not eligible for financial aid.

Waivers and Exemptions

Effective Fall 2014, a new law has been adopted by State Legislation (SB 1210, passed in 2013). The law requires that students must meet the Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress for certain waivers and exemptions.

Note: In order to be eligible for the Hazlewood Legacy Program you must maintain financial aid academic progress.

Change of Major and Transfer Credits

Students receiving financial aid must have a declared certificate or degree eligible program. Students should register for courses approved for their designated degree plan/catalog year. Change of Major requests will be considered. Change of Major request forms must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Registrar’s Office personnel will change the student major to ensure that the student’s new program is tracked for SAP.

Transfer credits that are applicable to the student's’ degree plan will be counted in both the attempted and completed credits.

Additional Certificates and Degrees

Additional certificates and degrees will be considered or reviewed on a case by case basis. The student must be meeting SAP requirements. Changing programs will not change a student’s current status. The student’s timeframe and continued eligibility will be re-evaluated at the time of the review.

Additional SAP Rules: Remedial or Developmental Coursework

You may be able to take up to 27 hours of remedial or developmental course work and receive financial aid to pay for those costs. These courses will be included in the qualitative and quantitative measurements for SAP. All courses, including failures, incompletes, in progress, or drop/withdrawal are counted toward the maximum 27 credit hour limit. Once you have attempted 27 credit hours of remedial or developmental classes, you will not be able to receive additional financial aid to pay for those courses. Enrollment in these courses is indicated by testing or as recommended by an advisor.

 Financial aid will NOT pay for:

  • Courses taken by audit
  • Courses taken outside of your degree plan requirements
  • Courses attempted more than two times (except remedial/developmental courses)
  • Also not covered are credits exceeding the 27 maximum credits for developmental courses
  • Courses previously passed unless, the course grade failed the minimum grade requirement for the program of study
  • Starting July 1, 2011, only two attempts will be approved, if a course was previously passed. A third attempt will not be paid by financial aid. The student’s degree plan must specify the minimum course grade required
  • Credit hours earned by placement tests
  • Continuing education courses
  • Courses for which you register after the official census date of the term
  • Timeframe and/or credit hours in excess of the 150% maximum program limit
  • Courses taken without having a declared eligible program (enrolled as undeclared, undecided, or non-degree seeking)

Failure to Meet the Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress

Warning

This status is assigned to students, who fail to meet Standards of Academic progress at the end of a semester. Students on ‘warning’ status may receive financial aid, without completing an appeal.

The first time that a student fails to meet the qualitative (minimum 2.0 semester or cumulative GPA) or quantitative requirements (minimum 67% of courses completed for the term or cumulatively), the student will be placed on financial aid warning. The only exception is for exceeding maximum hours, which results in immediate suspension.

Failing to meet any one of the SAP measurements during the warning period will place a student on suspension.

Suspension

There are several conditions that may place a student on suspension. The student is responsible for paying all expenses during any enrollment period(s) while on suspension. Students can be placed on suspension after a warning or probation status.

  • Reaching the maximum time frame for the program of study can also lead a student to suspension.
  • A student who fails to meet any of the standards of academic progress measures during a warning period will be placed on financial aid suspension and will lose eligibility for all financial aid until all SAP measures have been met.  It may take several terms of enrollment to regain eligibility.
  • A student who is on probation and who fails  to meet the academic or Success Plan measurements will be placed on suspension.

Other types of Financial Aid Suspension:

Maximum Time Frame

  • A student who has reached the maximum time frame for their program of study will be placed on maximum time frame, which is a type of financial aid suspension.    The maximum time frame is calculated by multiplying the number of hours required for the program by 1.5.
  • If the Financial Aid Office mathematically determines that you cannot complete your program within the 150% limit, you will immediately be placed on maximum time frame.
  • Once the 150% limit has been met, you cannot regain satisfactory progress or financial aid eligibility for that program of study.

Maximum Time Frame Suspension

A student who has reached the maximum time frame for their program of study and has also failed to comply with another SAP requirement, such as having a term or cumulative GPA below 2.0 or a term or cumulative completion rate below 67% will be placed on maximum time frame suspension.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility

If you are on financial aid suspension, for reasons other than reaching the maximum timeframe, you may have your aid reinstated in one of the following manners:

1.  Continue to attend Texas State Technical College without financial aid until you are able to achieve both:

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher along with 2.0 GPA for your last term of enrollment.
  • A 67% cumulative completion rate along with a 67% completion rate for your last term of enrollment.

Once you have met both of these standards, you will once again be eligible to receive aid as long as you continue to maintain academic progress. It may require multiple terms for students with an extremely low GPA and or completion rate to regain financial aid eligibility.

2. File an appeal demonstrating mitigating circumstances and be approved.

Note: If you have reached the maximum time frame, you may not regain eligibility to receive additional financial aid unless an appeal is granted.

 

APPEAL PROCESS

Students who are placed on financial aid suspension, maximum time frame, or maximum time frame suspension may file an appeal based on mitigating circumstances.

Note: Appeals should include supporting documentation.

The student is responsible for any payments and meeting payment deadlines, during the appeal process. The student should not miss payment deadlines, while waiting for a response. Failure to pay for tuition and fees may result in deregistration. The student is responsible for balances due, if the student withdraws before or after an appeal is denied.

Appeals will only be granted for conditions causing extreme hardship to the student, such as the death of a family member, illness or injury of the student, or other mitigating circumstances. The appeal should include supporting documentation regarding your mitigating circumstance, such as medical statements or death certificates, or other supporting documentation. Appeals for mitigating circumstances will be considered during a student’s enrollment at TSTC, on a case by case basis. Submitting an appeal does not guarantee approval of the appeal. Appeals will be reviewed by financial aid staff and may be appealed to the Assistant Director of Financial Aid and to the Director of Financial Aid. The decision of the Director of Financial Aid will be final.

 A suspension appeal must include the following: 

  • A completed Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form.
  • A written description of the mitigating circumstances
  • Documentation to support any claims
  • A description of the steps you have taken to remedy the situation (Success Plan)

A maximum time frame appeal must include the following:

  • A completed Federal Time Frame Appeal form
  • A written description of the mitigating circumstances
  • A degree plan showing the number of hours remaining until graduation

A maximum time frame suspension appeal must include the following:

  •  A completed Federal Time Frame Suspension Appeal form
  • A written description of the mitigating circumstances
  • A degree plan showing the number of hours remaining until graduation
  • A description of the steps you have taken to remedy the situation (Success Plan)

Once you are notified of not being eligible for financial aid (financial aid suspension), you have (5) working days to submit an appeal or up to the subsequent semester census date, whichever comes first. Note: Education and career planning tools such as Focus are tools available for students. The assessment may be required for students requesting reinstatement, appeals, or change of program.

 

APPEAL DECISIONS

Maximum Time Frame Appeal Approved

The student will be placed on an academic plan and their progress will be reviewed at the end of each term. Failure to meet both GPA and completion rate standards will result in suspension from aid.

Maximum Suspension Appeal Approved

The student will be placed on an academic plan and their progress will be reviewed at the end of each term. Failure to meet both GPA and completion rate standards will result in suspension from aid.

Probation

A student will be placed on probation if we determine that he or she should be able to reach both the 2.0 term and cumulative GPA and 67% term and cumulative completion rate requirements at the end of the next term of enrollment. If the student fails to meet any of these standards, he or she will be placed on suspension.

Academic Plan

A student may be placed on an academic plan under which they are able to achieve a 2.0 GPA by the end of their second year of enrollment so that they will be eligible for graduation. While on this status, a student must be making progress according to an academic plan which dictates that a student must achieve a term GPA of 2.0 or higher and a term completion rate of at least 67% in order to continue to retain aid eligibility. The first term that a student is under an academic plan will be a probationary term. If the student complies with the terms of the academic plan, he or she will be making academic progress and can continue to receive aid as long as they meet the conditions of the plan. Failure to achieve these conditions will result in suspension.

 Appeal Denied

The student will not be eligible to receive financial aid until he or she meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards as listed above; both a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a cumulative completion rate of 67%. It may take several semesters in order for a student to regain aid eligibility.

Texas State Technical College 3801 Campus Drive Waco, Texas 76705 254-799-3611
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